May 30, 2017

4 Tips For Recruiting Medical Directors

Medical Directors are responsible for the execution of scientific strategies for their specific therapeutic area. While Medical Directors serve similar functions within most pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, they each have unique passions for science, cures, and therapeutic areas. I have yet to speak with a Medical Director that views their work as, well, solely a 9-5. They are changing the healthcare landscape by supporting clinical development programs; the work they do directly impacts the lives of patients.

Recruiting for these specialized roles can be challenging; here are 4 tips to help you successfully recruit Medical Directors:

  1. What credentials do you need to look for? Most Medical Director positions require an MD degree as well as board certification / board eligibility with industry experience in their therapeutic area of desire. However, there are occasional positions where a candidate with a Pharm.D or Ph.D. can be considered for a Medical Director as well. Clarifying required credentials can help narrow or expand your options.
  2. Learn about the therapeutic area / disease state, products / pipeline, and company background. The science matters to Medical Directors. You don’t have to be a medical professional yourself, but learn about the products that treat the disease state they work in. Can you accurately explain the products they’d be working on and the technology that the company uses for development? Medical Directors are highly educated individuals who set out to treat patients; the more you know about the medicine or technology, the better you’ll be at building credibility. This is one of the most important factors in recruiting Medical Directors.
  3. Know where to find Medical Directors. Most Medical Directors belong to medical associations that are directly related to their therapeutic area / disease state of interest. Join those associations, attend conferences, and start networking. You can also start by identifying companies that have competing products in similar therapeutic areas / disease states.
  4. Understand their motivators and what they want to accomplish in the industry. Medical Directors are motivated by career development and working with like-minded medical professionals who share their passion for treating patients within a certain therapeutic area / disease state. Therefore, spend your time talking about the things they care about. Prioritize their motivators, and then highlight how the job aligns with them. Be sure to leave several secondary motivators for your next phone / face-to-face conversations to keep them engaged.

Above all, remember that Medical Directors are not just resumes; they are people. Practice the #powerofpersonal and take the time to truly know your candidates. Make sure they are right for the job, but also that the job is right for them. 

Tags: pharma / biotech, executive & professional search, #powerofpersonal, recruiting

Jacqui Gaul

As a member of the Executive & Professional Search team at TSP, Jacqui spends the majority of her time focused on hard to find, clinical development and medical affairs professionals. Prior to joining TSP, Jacqui got her start in recruiting while working for a Hospital Pharmacy Management Company, and later expanded her skill set while working at Artemis Consultants, to einclude marketing services, predictive analytics, and “data centric” industries. Outside of TSP, Jacqui enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and her two dogs, Moose and Buckley.



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